Fun on Friday: Drinking Gold for that Youthful Appearance
Do you want to maintain your youthful appearance?
Drink a 16th-century concoction made from gold!
Of course, the main reason it will keep you looking young is that it will kill you young. But if you’re OK with that little side-effect, this just might be the anti-aging solution you’re looking for.
Seriously. Drinking gold to keep yourself looking young was a big thing in the 16th century. According to an article I stumbled into on the internet, Diane de Poitiers, drank a daily tonic of gold chloride mixed with diethyl ether in an effort to assuage wrinkles and age spots.
It likely killed her.
In fairness though, it wasn’t the gold that led to her early demise at the age of 66. It was the other chemicals in the anti-aging elixir. After all, we know from past Fun on Friday posts that eating gold is perfectly safe.
Diane de Poitiers never wore the French crown, but she wielded a great deal of influence in King Henry II’s court. By wielding influence, I mean she was the kings lover. She was also a patron of the arts and managed the education of the royal family’s children.
On a side-note, she was most likely stoned most of the time. She was drinking ether. You know… the anesthetic. She may or may not have looked younger, but deep down she just didn’t care anymore.
Anyway, apparently, her gold consumption wasn’t any big secret, and she was considered ageless. According to the above-mentioned article, a French historian wrote about meeting de Poitiers not long before she died. Though he admitted to not knowing much about the “potable gold and other drugs” she took daily, which contributed to her “fine appearance,” he wrote, “I believe that if this lady had lived another hundred years she would not have aged … in her face, so well-composed it was.”
But like I said, her quest to look good likely killed de Poitiers. Her remains turned up in a mass grave in 2009. During the French Revolution, she was dug up and her original resting place was destroyed. I guess that made some kind of political point. It was like an early incarnation of Antifa. Anyway, analysis of her hair revealed she likely died of chronic intoxication due to her long habit of drinking that mixture of gold and other toxic chemicals.
The moral of the story? Vanity has a steep price.
Drinking gold to fight the inevitable onset of aging goes back even further than the 16th century. Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder suggested gold was an effective salve for warts and ulcers. Chinese alchemist Wei Boyang called gold “immortal” and wrote that those who drank it would “enjoy longevity.” The ancient Egyptians also touted “gold water” as an anti-aging remedy. They reasoned that since gold doesn’t corrode, it must contribute to longevity. Now, that idea might seem a little simplistic to our modern ears. But considering there are apparently a lot of people today who actually believe the earth is flat, maybe we shouldn’t be casting aspersions.
Drinking gold hit its heyday during the medieval era when an alchemist discovered he could dissolve solid gold into a liquid.
Aurum potabile (sometimes known as aurum potable), as drinkable gold was known around the 16th century, was advertised as a cure-all for everything from epilepsy to mania. Gold-imbued recipes made their way into chemistry manuals by the likes of French medical professionals Jean Beguin and Christophe Glaser, and even the short-lived Portuguese Pope John XXI. In 1578, he wrote a laborious recipe for a gold-laced, youth-preserving water. It involved taking gold, silver, iron, copper, iron, steel, and lead filings, then placing that mixture ‘in the urine of a virgin child on the first day,’ then white wine, fennel juice, egg whites, in a nursing woman’s milk, in red wine, then again in egg whites, in that order, for the following six days.”
But again, considering people today inject botulism into their skin to look younger, who are we to judge?
Now, if you’re reading this and thinking these people might have been onto something, you can drink gold today – without also consuming urine of a virgin child and diethyl ether. Just pick a bottle of Goldschläger — a Swiss cinnamon schnapps with very thin, yet visible flakes of gold floating in it. I doubt it will make you look younger, but it might make the man or woman you’re dancing with look better. So, there’s that.
Or, you could just call 1-888-GOLD-160 and talk to a SchiffGold precious metals specialist. They can’t help you look younger either. But they can explain some better uses for gold.
Fun on Friday is a weekly SchiffGold feature. We dig up some of the off-the-wall and off-beat stories relating to precious metals and share them with you – with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Click here to read other posts in this series.
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